Where To Metal Detect

The delivery man is long gone.  You have read your metal detector user manual 15 times from front to back.  Possibly bench tested everything in your house – including the cat. So what is there left to do?  Well, it’s time to get out there and go metal detecting of course.  

However, before you go wasting gas looking for that special spot to magically present itself, perhaps we should include one last step to the process.  Research!  

Yes, Google really is your best friend on this one.  Just doing some quick digging on the internet will give you a huge advantage for finding older spots – for older drops.  Here are some example searches you can do to help you get started. X being the town/city name that you want to research.

  • History of X    (just a general search to get you started)
  • Parks and recreation of X    (old parks are greats spots to start)
  • Historic schools of X     (old school = kids dropping coins)
  • Old buildings of X    (many old buildings used to sit on now empty public land)

The list goes on and on.  Get creative in your searches to find those places to detect.  Keep in mind, it does not all have to be about old and historic places.  Many detectorists enjoy the hobby finding modern clad coins. Myself being one of them.  Yes, an old silver dime or tax token brings me greater joy. However, I look at keepers and rare finds as icing on the cake more than a “must have” to keep me interested in the hobby.


The MOST IMPORTANT thing to research are the metal detecting laws in the area.  Some cities and counties could care less, and have no issues with metal detecting.  Others may strictly prohibit it and have a fine waiting for you. The best practice is to check the local city/town website and do a CTRL-F search for the word “metal detecting”.  Never call and ask a city workers if it is legal – all information should all be available in books – or online.   

National Parks are a huge NO – while State Parks may allow it with a permit from a local office.  ALWAYS get permission for private property and ALWAYS know the law for the land you plan on detecting!  

The other big factor to go along with research is common sense.  High traffic areas = drops. Think about where humans often congregate, and that is where you will find your metal detecting opportunities.  People drop (or forget) metal objects all the time. 

Fishing your cell phone or keys out of your pocket.  Wearing you favorite old jeans that are getting holes in the pockets.  Placing your coins and jewelry on the ground to play some basketball or go swimming at the lake.   No matter how you look at it, chances are a coin or a ring has made its way onto the ground in your lifetime.  Many times you will never know jewelry is gone until much later. Pocket change you may never even miss!

OK – so you have done the research and thinking.  You have a few spots in mind to detect. Now it’s time to narrow it down even further to increase your success.  Let’s take a look at a few random examples. 



Take a look around trees.  People like shade on a hot day.  They may lay out a blanket and set their items on it.  Those items may make their way to the grass very easily.  

Picnic tables are another great places to look.  As people sit up and down the objects in their pockets may fall out and land on soft grass.  Not much noise when something lands on soft grass.

What about the playground area?  Kids are pretty active and love to hang upside down from monkey bars.  Out comes the goods from the little monkeys!

Most schools have a sports area for games.  Parents like to set up their lawn chairs around the sports fields to root their children on.   Out comes the coins onto the grass.

Hit the 1st and 3rd base lines on baseball fields.  Also right behind fence at home plate. For football, soccer, and other sports – just go along the out of bounds line where you see people sitting and watching.  



Cold water shrinks fingers!  This is one of the most important biology lessons to learn in metal detecting.  Rings on those shrinking fingers tend to come loose. If you have a waterproof detector, go get em!   

Don’t worry if you don’t.  Sit back and observe the “towel line” where people lay out to tan and dry off.  Those rings fall off all the time as they make their way back to their towels. They also fall off as they dry off.  Most people take off their jewelry and place their cash on the towel or blanket. As they move around and roll over – so do the goods.  Hit that towel line!

If you see a volleyball court set up, get to digging.  All that jumping and diving in the sand shakes objects loose.  If they set the goods to the side beforehand, all that jumping and diving can kick sand around covering them up.



In – out – in – out.  Passengers and drivers get in and out of cars along curb strips.  Often dropping coins out of their pockets along the way. If you notice a grassy area along the curb strip of your local school or park – go hit it.

There you have it!  These few examples should be more than enough to get your started on your metal detecting adventures.  Remember, high traffic areas = high amount of drops. Trash and otherwise. Prepare yourself mentally for plenty of bottle caps and pull tabs.  However, don’t get discouraged. If there is plenty of trash, there is plenty of treasure as well.

Soon you will be thinking outside of the box and finding treasure every time you turn on your detector!  Happy Hunting!


I hope you enjoyed this blog – TheHunterGT signing off – I will see you – on the next blog!

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